The Weekly Dirt: Examining aspirational pricing in South Florida

Multifamily, office owners are testing the challenging market, while billionaire buyers continue to spend on homes

Examining Aspirational Pricing in South Florida
Daren Metropoulos and 455 North County Road and Nuveen's Mike Sales and Aimco's West Powell with 701 Brickell Avenue, Brickell Bay Drive and 1001 Brickell Bay Drive in Miami (Google Maps, Getty, Nuveen, Aimco)

Commercial landlords in Brickell are seeking record prices for their properties despite significant economic headwinds. 

While no one is immune to high interest rates and skyrocketing insurance premiums, multifamily and office owners are having a rockier time. Still, some are betting on the market coming back soon, especially in Miami’s Brickell Financial District, where four large properties have hit the market since last fall. Two of those are asking prices that would blow past records set during the pandemic. 

At the very top, Aimco listed its bayfront 4.3-acre site, which is home to the Brickell Bay Office Tower and the adjacent Yacht Club Apartments, for $650 million. That would break down to $151 million per acre, surpassing billionaire Ken Griffin’s record $363 million purchase –– or $145 million per acre –– of a vacant bayfront site in 2022. 

Sources tell Lidia Dinkova that Aimco has received 15 offers for the property, some upwards of $600 million. 

On the residential side, the pace of sales has also slowed dramatically, but big deals are still closing. Last week, a member of the billionaire Metropoulos family paid $148 million for the historic oceanfront estate at 455 North County Road in Palm Beach. Daren Metropoulos, who also owns the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, bought the home from the Pencer family. 

The purchase followed Todd Glaser and his partners’ $152 million sale of Tarpon Island in May, which rounded out the spring selling season in Palm Beach. 

What we’re thinking about: Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law codifying the power that commercial owners have in condo-hotels, which one attorney said could “wreak havoc on condo associations” and give developers more muscle against residential unit owners. What do you think about this? Send me a note at


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Residential: Daren Metropoulos, the son of billionaire Dean Metropoulos, paid $148 million for the historic oceanfront estate at 455 North County Road in Palm Beach. The Pencer family sold the 3.2-acre property, known as Casa Amado. 

Commercial: Pantzer Properties paid $139.2 million for AMLI Doral, a 6.4-acre garden-style multifamily complex at 11481 Northwest 41st Street in Doral. AMLI sold the 352-unit development. 


Former Barnes & Noble Executive Chairman Leonard Riggio and his wife, Louise, listed their oceanfront Palm Beach estate at 1446 North Ocean Boulevard for $96 million. Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates has the listing for the 8,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom mansion. Riggio, once the bookseller’s largest shareholder, paid $14 million for the property in 2012. 

Examining Aspirational Pricing in South Florida
1446 North Ocean Boulevard (Daniel Petroni Photography)

A thing we’ve learned 

Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America, with an estimated 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats that live under the Congress Avenue bridge in downtown Austin. My colleagues and I traveled to the city for this year’s National Association of Real Estate Editors conference, where we collected 10 awards

Elsewhere in Florida 

  • Shane Desguin, former chief of staff to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, is alleging that Gov. Ron DeSantis and his aides forced him to retire after he blew the whistle on issues that included alleged violations of state public records laws and orders to arrest demonstrators without probable cause, ABC News reports. 
  • A group of Disney workers sued the company, alleging they were fraudulently induced to move to a new office campus in Florida that never came to fruition because of the legal battle between Disney and DeSantis, according to AP
  • More than $1 million worth of cocaine was discovered off the coast of the Florida Keys. Recreational boaters found 65 pounds of the drug floating in the ocean, CBS News reports. 
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